- Front brake
Learn right away that the front brake is the most effective one, and to never lock the front wheel in dirt (or on the road, but it's more likely in dirt). Learn how far you can lean over without scraping a pedal.
- Inner Pedal
Learn to keep the inside pedal UP when you corner, and learn to ride safely in all conditions. Be the master and commander of your own bicycle.
- Share the Road
Signal your approach to pedestrians, especially if they're old, and a bell is better than "On your left!" If no bell, try clacking your brake levers. If all you got is "On your left!" that's fine, but if you ride a lot on paths, get a bell.
- Go Simply
At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves. Sometime next month, put some double-sided cheap-style pedals on a good bike and ride in non-cycling garb. It works shockingly well, and sends a good message to would-be bicycle riders.
- Extra Tube
Carry an extra tube you can give to somebody with a flat tire and just a repair kit.
- Respect Women
If you're a guy, don't try to be a mentor to every female cyclist you meet.
- You don't have to be a Racer
Don't ride in shoes you can't walk through an antique shop in.
- Spandex is OK, but...
Don't wear clothing that makes your sweat stink even more.
- Let the engineers worry about aerodynamics
Don't think you'll go faster in a significant way if you and your bike become more aerodynamic.
- Carry a little Cash
Put a $20 bill inside your seat post or handlebar and hold it there, somehow.
- Be Prepared
Don't ride until you're confident you can fix a flat.
- Keep tools Handy
If you ride more than one bike, have a set of bring-along tools for each one. Learn how to remove your rear wheel (put the chain onto the small cog, etc.).
- Share Food
If you ride in a group, bring food for you and somebody who forgot to.
- Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because it's good to be really cold on a bike every now and then.The reverse (overdressing in hot weather) is not necessary!
- Don't Blame the Bike
Never blame your bike or your health or anything else if you're the last one up the hill or in to the rest stop.
- Make it Interesting
If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape, so it doesn't look like a one-piece set-up.
- Do your maintenance
Never let your chain squeak.
- Respect Still
If you pass another rider going up a hill, say more than "Hi," but if it's a woman and you aren't, don't assume she wants to chit-chat. Treat her as you'd have a generic guy-rider treat your wife/daughter/girlfriend.
- Be yourself
If you're a woman and it's a guy, you can chit-chat all you like, they won't mind.
If you see another rider approaching you from the rear and trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast.
- There are heroes
Don't put any cyclist up on a pedestal, except Major Taylor, Lon and Freddie.
- We don't always need special food
Sometimes, bring normal food on your ride. Sometimes bring none. If you're reasonably well-rested and have eaten anything at all in the last eighteen hours (and are not diabetic), you should be able to pedal your bike for two to three hours without supercharging your system with carbohydrates. Believe it or not, carbs really do make you fat, and are necessary only for long, hard rides.
- Document with Photos and Share
Shoot photos on your rides and give them away.
- Don't overemphasize Tech
Feel comfortable mixing high tech and low tech, old and new parts and technologies, and don't apologize to anybody for it.
- Don't hold back compliments
Compliment other people's bikes, especially if they're new.
- A helmet Protects
Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.
Try seersucker shirts for hot weather riding, and long-sleeved ones are best.
- Go Natural
Don't underestimate fig bars. If you get a new widget and like it, don't "swear by it."
- Support Local Business
Don't always shop by price and never ask for discounts at your local bike shop. Every time you go into a bike shop, spend at least $2, and if you ask a question and get good advice, spend $5.
- Support Local Business Pt II
If you buy a rack, don't ask for free installation.
- Support Local Business Pt III
Don't assume your bike shop is making money.
- Ride for the Joy
Ride only when you feel like it.
- Ride for the Joy Pt II
If you know a fast new rider, don't say, "You really ought to race."
- Keep the Humor
If you see a stocky woman rider, don't suggest she race track.
- Exercise in Bad Weather
Have at least one bike you feel comfortable riding in a downpour.
- Exercise in Bad Weather Pt II
Ride in weather that keeps other cyclers indoors.
- Never keep track of your pedaling cadence.
- If you have a normal loop or ride, count the number of times you shift on it; then the next time you ride it, cut that in half and see if it makes any difference.
- Practice some Fun Skills
Learn to ride no-hands and to hop over obstacles, but not simultaneously.
- Never hit a pedestrian. In traffic, be visible and polite. Don't feel as though you must be a role model for all other riders; be polite for selfish reasons.
- If you have several bikes, set them up with different equipment but always ride the saddle you like best.
- Don't push your Skills Too Fast
Don't try to keep up with faster descenders if you're not comfortable descending.
- Enjoy the Bike You Have
Never apologize for buying something that's not quite pro quality by saying, "I'm not going to race or anything."
- Personalize your Bike
If you buy a stock bike, do something to it that makes it the only one exactly like it in the world.
- It's about the Ride
Don't think it's important to match front and rear hubs or rims.
- Appreciate your Friends Bike
If you borrow somebody else's bike, for a short test or a long ride, say something nice about it.
- Always bring a pump.
- Build at least one wheel.
- Wear out something.
- I like everyones Ride
Don't ever describe any bike, no matter how inexpensive or dilapidated, as "a piece of crap."
- If you get a fancy bike assembled by somebody else, allow them a scrape or two, especially if the bike is really expensive.